Tagged with Reviews

The Hurt Locker, 2009, dir. Katherine Bigelow


2009’s sucker-punching Iraq war military drama, The Hurt Locker, is a tense and episodic film, and perhaps one of the most individual war movies ever made. In any examination of war, politics almost inevitably find a way to trickle down into the story’s bloodstream and flood it with its ideological leanings and proclivities. What makes … Continue reading

9, 2009, dir. Shane Acker


9‘s release marks the second film in 2009 to be released with Tim Burton‘s name on it. More accurately it’s the second film released in 2009 directed by God knows who because the sight of “Burton” leads easily fooled people into crediting it as his film. February’s Coraline (my review) experienced similar problems, though that … Continue reading

Timecrimes, 2008, dir. Nacho Vigalondo


The average Joe, it seems, doesn’t understand the subtleties of time travel. They have no concept of the potential paradoxes that can arise from reckless behavior and brash actions; they are deluded enough to think that they can best causality. The hero of Timecrimes, Hector, is such a man; apparently, he has never watched Lost … Continue reading

District 9, 2009, dir. Neil Blomkamp


What would really happen if Earth was to come into contact with life extra-planetary? District 9, Neil Blomkamp’s from-left-field science fiction thriller/faux-doc, asks us this question, and provides some very unsettling answers– along with some of the most intelligent and satisfying entertainment to be found in the summer crop of seasonal blockbusters. District 9 tells … Continue reading

Frost/Nixon, 2008, dir. Ron Howard


Watching Frost/Nixon, I couldn’t get past a strange and completely unexpected feeling I had deep in my gut. Something about the movie took me by surprise; something below the surface, something that no one would really expect out of a political drama focusing on the series of interviews David Frost (Michael Sheen) did with disgraced … Continue reading

Up, 2009, dir. Pete Docter


I should note that the following kind of maybe sort of verges on vaguely spoiler-ish territory, so read with caution. Up is a movie loaded with impressive accomplishment from the first frame to the last. Perhaps it’s most noteworthy effect is making an hour and a half long film feel like a two hour movie … Continue reading

Terminator Salvation, 2009, dir. McG


Christian Bale’s career is experiencing a strange trend: He’s a leading man who never leads. He’s a star who gets up-staged by his supporting cast. In short: What is the damn point of Christian Bale being in movies? This trend started with The Dark Knight, where aside from the obvious raw impact of Heath Ledger’s … Continue reading

Rachel Getting Married, 2008, dir. John Demme


Welcome back, John Demme: After an inconsistent period in the 2000’s (including but not limited to the Manchurian Candidate remake, as well as the listless and uninspired The Truth About Charlie), the director has made what may be his strongest movie since the 90’s. Rachel Getting Married is a new high point in his career, … Continue reading

Slumdog Millionaire, 2008, dir. Danny Boyle


I had a revelation during Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle, at some point in his life, either voluntarily or unwillingly fell into a toilet. Toilets, and people entering toilets, seem to have shaped much of Danny Boyle’s career as a filmmaker. His apparent obsession with putting actors into commodes, however, doesn’t speak to the quality or … Continue reading

Friday The 13th, 2009, dir. Marcus Nispel


I’m going to start this review with a basic question: Why are you reading this? Slasher films are notoriously polarizing– either you enjoy them or you don’t, and no review by any critic (“critic” in my case) is going to change that. If you like slashers, chances are you’re either thinking about seeing the latest … Continue reading

Coraline, 2009, dir. Henry Selick


Sixteen years ago, a twisted little 3D animated film called The Nightmare Before Christmas hit theaters. Directed by Henry Selick, and written by the combined team of Caroline Thompson, Michael McDowell, and Tim Burton, Nightmare is a bizarre romantic children’s tale showcasing the efforts of the Pumpkin King (the King of Halloween) as he tries … Continue reading